Reviewer:Helen Burgess -
June 19, 2012 Subject:
Scene by scene/transcript
Opens with a flag "to the fair!" Follows with a montage of transportation:
horses pulling (post?) across empty western landscape
middle class couple in modern horse drawn buggy through suburb
double decker bus on highway
hot air balloon over mountains
"Practically everybody in the world is coming to the fair."
dude on walking water shoes
partly submerged car
couple on dual bicycle
11 people on single bicycle
train with "your steel thruway to the fair gateway" and "ride the long island travel car (?)"
city train NY in background
crossing (GW?) bridge
family car cruising through city: "The wilson family is driving in from out west."
Small plane landing
two cowboy dudes with briefcases disembark
helicopter lands on futuristic port authority building roof
"Everyone is coming to the New York Worlds Fair." The Chandras, an elegant Indian couple, disembark. "They're coming from the four corners of the earth." Crowd walking through fair.
"And from Five Corners Idaho. They come down from New Athens Maine, and from Athens Greece. From Tokyo, Kokomo and Rome. Down from Frisco, and down from Troy. From Hanford, from (limba?), from Normal Illinois."
Boy scouts: "Troop 295 from the Bronx"
Two women looking at map: "And the traveling teachers from Kansas, Miss Abbot and Mrs Todd."
Wilsons - mother, father, girl, boy, girl: "And the Wilsons got here at last."
Two modern young ladies walk; two lads in sport jackets & ties turn around to watch them pass. Bum/leg shot. They start to follow but get stymied by a passing transport (kind of a long, low carriage train).
"The Wilsons take the motor train for overall viewing." The train is a open-air covered Greyhound "Glide-a-ride" with a boat-like front. There's even a nun. Smiling, happy Wilsons ride (youngest daughter with mouth open) past flags, globe, trees & fountains. "There's the symbol of the fair, the great Unisphere."
The Chandras flag down a small Greyhound open air motorcab - driver at the back. "Mr and Mrs Chandra, they're here from India. Chandra is an engineer." They pass a pipe sculpture. "Here's something special -- a new structural principle. He'll come back later, for a closer look."
Star fountain, followed by round building signed "Wonderful World of Chemistry". "Here's a pavilion with a musical spectacle."
Small World pavilion, Disney & Pepsi Cola signs to the rear. "Here's a salute to the children of the world."
Modern raised saucer with elegant white ramp. "A suspended theater, with a film on the joy of living."
Domed pavilion. "A show where the audience revolves around the stage."
Flags, statures, building in the trees labeled "New England States". "Stories of the States."
The GM Pavilion, courtyard with tall umbrella cones. "Places to stroll, places to rest."
Quaint old buildings. "An old European town to wander in."
Huge modern buildings - tall, square, curved, tiled, etc. "Each building is an experience just to see, filled with tribute to the nations, their arts, industry, and science."
The lads are still looking for their ladies. They pass a ride (looks like a small, modernist version of the London Eye), and one points: there they are! Walking above on a revolving viewing platform. The lads head up the escalator, but the ladies are headed down unseen.
"The Chandras find a machine that playfully demonstrates the law of averages." Gaussian curve demonstration. They head into a seating section. "Here's a new way to go to a show. The whole grandstand is lifted up into the theater." Seating section rises (but doesn't seem to be looking at anything??). The teachers pass below and look up.
"The teachers find new ways for presenting complex ideas to their students." (moving diorama displays) "Soap bubbles reveal the beauty of geometry."
Scout troop, marching fast. "Troop 295 is doing the fair in an organized way."
Bell Pavilion (little bell rings in music!). "Miss Abbot and Mrs Todd are going into a show on the history of communication. "Tom Tom the (bell star??)." Riding on single distinctly Futurama looking wingback chairs. Each has a headphone set.
"The Wilsons set off to explore the pavilion." (Kodak) Scouts march past an Eskimo Pie booth. 3 hang back. "Hey, ice cream!" They buy & then look around. "So, they lost the troop." They run to catch up.
"The Wilsons enter a pavilion, with a roof like a stained glass (?rosdydome?)." The older girl does cartwheel. "Some places make you happy just to be in them."
"An elevator goes up the highest tower of the fair." (the flying saucer tower) The young ladies get in, the doors are closed by an attendant, the lads run up but they're too late to get in. The attendant blocks their way and shakes his head at them. Darn. The attendant points them to the stairwell and they rush up it (piano goes fast then slower..). We get a view from the elevator of the GM pavilion on the other side of a six-lane highway with feeder lanes. Again the lads are going up the stairs, but the ladies have come down to the lower platform and they miss them. The lads are not interested in the view.
The 3 lost scouts are up there too, looking through viewing binoculars. They look down and see the troop marching below. They run to catch up. The lads are still looking for their ladies, whom they spot back on the ground.
The scouts - "Troop lost again." Running. "Intensify the search!" They run but then double back at the sight of an irresistible ride. Montage: now more rides. POV switches to the suspended monorail, briefly in tune with the road traffic outside. The kids are now on a little train track, now on a car ride (ford exhibit?), now in a boat chute waterslide (all have the same forward pointing POV, reinforcing the fair as ride motif).
March 12, 2009 Subject:
Great DVD documentary of the NY Worlds Fair 1964-5
or call 1-877-FILMBABY
Peace Through Understanding
The 1964/65 New York World's Fair
Excerpt on youtube:
March 21, 2005 Subject:
'To The Fair' is a classic example of why I hate films like this. It just wishes that I was there while it was happening because EVERYTHING here looks wonderfully fun! A whole motley of people discover every aspect of the fair, including it's pavillions, rides and even the restaraunts. This film has a great 60's feel to it, and the narration is light and breezy. Like I said, I just wish I was there to experience it, because I would be there in a heartbeat. The only complaint I have about this film is people going on rides and not showing, or telling us what this ride is. But that's a nitpicky point, I love this movie, and you will too. This is a MUST SEE on this site!!
July 22, 2004 Subject:
Enjoy the American Way of Life in the 60ÃÂ´s
Half a documentary, half a Disney film. Worth seeing. Great architecture shown.
April 11, 2004 Subject:
What a Great World's Fair Film!
Out of all the World's Fair movies in the Prelinger Archives, this has the best narrative flow. It follows various groups of people during their day at the fair: a family of five; a couple from India; two women schoolteachers; three Boy Scouts who get separated from their troup; a pair of young women pursued by two very ardent male suitors; and -- the only one to whom I can relate -- a bespectacled nerd who drives to the fair across the water in his amphibious car just so he can listen to the out-of-tune orchestrions. The beatific look on his face as he cocks his head to take in the cacophony is priceless. (This second part of the movie includes footage of the General Motors' Futurama II ride -- compare to the 1939 version in the film "To New Horizons.")
September 1, 2003 Subject:
a fine film
this film is directed by alexander hammid. Several of his films are in the archives, His film career started in 1929 ,and at the age of 92 , he is living in new york..He never received due recognition as a master film maker, although his IMAX film received an oscar and still one of the most popular
A must-see (and download) not only for those interested in this fair, but also for fans of Disneyland. Several Disney attractions (the Carousel of Progress, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, It's a Small World, even those dinosaurs you see from the railroad) were developed and built for the fair. This is the fair that Thomas Hine cited as marking "the end of Populuxe." Our loss in Vietnam and Watergate were only seven years away.